India vs New Zealand 2016: Hits and Misses
The three-match Test series between India and New Zealand, which ended with the hosts winning 3-0 saw a lot of players perform well and some others prove to be a disappointment.
India had the upper hand in the stars section while there were a few who missed out as well. Here’s the list of the hits and the misses:
We are losing out on adjectives to describe Ashwin’s exploits in Test cricket these days. The 30-year-old is undoubtedly on top of his game and showed that once again in the three-match Test series against New Zealand, picking up 27 wickets including two 10-wicket hauls.
Kane Williamson was touted as the big threat for the Indians, but Ashwin picked him up in each of the four innings that he batted in and that proved to be a big deciding factor for the Indians.
Ashwin has been given a break for the opening three ODIs against the Kiwis and one doesn’t know if he will play the remaining two matches after that or not, but surely once the English turn up in early November, he will be licking his lips to put forth yet another commanding performance against them.
India’s biggest positive with the bat without a doubt. Prior to the start of the series, there were questions over the pace at which he batted but after the three matches, those doubts have been put to rest once-it-for-all.
Pujara played with a lot of fluidity right throughout the series and amassed 373 runs in 6 innings to put to rest all talks about his place in the XI. He had come into this series on the back of a big score in the Duleep Trophy and that performance, it looked like, had helped him.
Pujara will in-all-probability not be part of India’s limited-overs series versus New Zealand and he will look to take a fresh guard when England come visiting next month.
The lone bright spot in the New Zealand as far as the batting was concerned, Latham showed good defensive skills at Kanpur, combating the Ashwin and Jadeja threat with a great amount of skill.
He was the only batsman from the opposition to have made a 50+ score in each of the three Tests and he will look to carry this confidence into New Zealand’s home season, that begins in a few months.
India’s man for all seasons Ajinkya Rahane was in his elements throughout the course of the series, particularly in the final two Tests where he made vital contributions to the team’s cause.
His knock of 188 at Indore saw him scratch his way at the start, but soon got into his groove, particularly on Day Two and along with skipper Virat Kohli, they laid the foundations for a convincing Indian win.
Sometimes for players, there are certain series which act as a catalyst for something big. Rohit Sharma will hope this series does that to him and his career. The 29-year-old scored 238 runs in 5 innings and made a fifty in each of the three Tests.
His 82, in particular, in the second innings at Kolkata, found much appreciation come his way and he will hope that this is just the start for him for bigger things in the longer format of the game.